Mermaids and mermen
This year's climate conference had a lot of side-events about gender. Gender is about women and men, not their biological differences, but the differences in for example their roles, their needs, their rights and their access to decision making.
FCAM side event, Marrakech 2016
Climate change affects women differently
The poorest people of this world are hit the hardest by climate change, because most effects of climate change can be seen in poor tropical countries. Poor people have little or no means to restore after losing their harvest, home or family. They have no savings and no insurances. Of the poorest, a majority is female. Therefore women are affected worse by climate change.
In addition, women and men feel climate change in different ways. For example, less rain means women and girls have to walk longer distances to fetch water, which is often their task. Girls have less time to go to school or do their homework. Sometimes women have to walk 4 hours a day to fetch water.
In the climate treaty of 1992, which was followed by the Kyoto protocol, this gender aspect was not taken into account at all. It did not mention people at all, let alone men and women. It only mentioned todays and future generations.
Later on, gender became a topic in the climate process, culminating in a working program about gender that was introduced on the conference in Lima in 2014. There were a workshop and a report. Here in Marrakech, this working program was prolonged for another 3 years and an action plan will be set up.
Gender needs more than just ticking the box
But is this going to help? In one of the many side events I heard someone say that gender often is added in the end: "Ticked the box, done, that's it."
If you really want to take the differences between men and women into account, if you want to make sure that both men's and women's are heard in decisions about their land, their future and climate actions, you have to ask them what they need. Women have to be involved in the decisions that affect them.
Because women have other roles and tasks than men, like for example producing food crops for their families, picking the seeds for next year, making traditional medicine from herbs and plants, they have other knowledge than men. This knowledge can be a crucial element for climate action. This is a second reason to listen to women more often.
Are we all mermaids?
Last week I was also invited to attend the 'high level event for women leaders'. There, I would meet strong and powerful women, like Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands, UN's clean energy champion Rachel Kyte, and Mary Robinson, Ireland's former president and now leading her own Foundation focusing on huan rights and climate justice.
The woman next to me explained: because we women are caretakers, we are connected to the fate of the earth. In our bodies, we feel the pain the earth also feels.
Boom! Suddenly I woke up. Women the caretakers? Isn't that one of those gender roles that is imposed upon us? My husband is a good caretaker as well. Will he also get a fishtail now? I was confused.
Connected to earth
I believe that all human beings - women and men, are connected tot he earth. Dutch scientist André Kuipers flew to the moon, saw our beautiful blue planet from space and felt terrible. He realized that he needed to be on earth, the ecosystem that we belong in as humans. Women and men. We can't live without the earth.
So let's take good care of the earth and of ourselves, of mermaids and mermen.
Read more about this subject
External link / 1 August 2018
This paper by Prakriti Resources Center (Nepal) sheds light on the gender and climate change nexus, gender mainstreaming as a tool to address gender inequality, gender and climate change policy landscape both at international and national level, gaps and way forward.
News / 11 January 2019
Clive Chibule from Zambia won the Gender Just Climate Solutions Award at the climate conference in Katowice, Poland. His project "Community strategies for climate-resilient livelihoods" aims at training rural women on leadership and climate resilience. A very important project, as Zambia is already feeling the effects of climate change, and rural women are affected most.
News / 21 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Jahin Shams Sakkhar of UTTARAN (Bangladesh) talks about floods, salinity and (in)justice.
Event / 10 March 2019, 13:00 - 16:00
On Sunday the 10th of March 2019 Both ENDS will be taking part in what is expected to become the largest climate march in The Netherlands as of yet. The march is organised by Milieudefensie, Greenpeace, Oxfam Novib, FNV, De Goede Zaak and the Woonbond and supported by Both ENDS and a large number of diverse civil society organisations. Together, we demand a safe future for ourselves, our children and for all people whose lives have already been or will soon be made almost impossible because of the effects of climate change such as droughts, disease, floods or food shortages.
Event / 30 November 2015
During the COP21 in Paris, Both ENDS will be cooperating and presenting with partners on a number of events. If you plan on going, please consider visiting one or more of these sessions:
Publication / 4 November 2009
Event / 7 November 2016
From 7 to 18 november, the Climate Change COP22 will take place in Marrakech, Morrocco. This '22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)' as it is called officially, is the annual meeting of the 195 countries which have signed and ratified the convention.
Publication / 18 June 2018
Small grants funds offer an effective, alternative way to channel big money from large donors and funds to local groups and organisations that are striving for a sustainable and just society everywhere around the world.
News / 10 November 2017
Both ENDS' Niels Hazekamp and Daan Robben are joining the Climate CoP in Bonn to actively follow the negotiations, with a special focus on certain topics such as subsidies and support for fossil fuels, climate finance, climate adaptation, and gender. Both ENDS also co-organises a side event together with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
In 2015, the member states of the United Nations committed themselves to the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unlike their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs recognise the importance of equality within and between countries, of decision-making processes in which all people are included and heard, and of legal systems that are independent and accessible to all.
Publication / 11 July 2019
Press release / 6 May 2019
Almost 100 candidate EU Members of Parliament have signed a pledge drafted and endorsed by European NGOs and prominent individuals in which they commit - once elected - to promoting policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and to recognising and securing forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come. The organisers hope to get many more signatures before the EU elections, to make sure the new EU parliament will start treating these topics with high urgency as soon as it is installed.
Publication / 8 April 2019
Blog / 29 January 2019
The climate debate in the Netherlands is bogged down in what we can change at home and does not touch on our actions abroad. And that is a missed opportunity. Precisely because our international trade model is both so influential and, at the same time, such a widespread cause of pollution, changes in that policy can have an immediate effect.
Local organisations and groups must be given access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund. They know exactly what is happening in their local context and what is required for climate adaptation.
News / 12 April 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Sara Crespo Suarez of our Bolivian partner Probioma explains how the effects are already being felt in her country.
Press release / 5 April 2019
The Hague, April 5, 2019 - Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands will deliver a court summons to Shell to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries. A 236 page complaint will be delivered to Shell's International Headquarters in the Hague this afternoon by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, ActionAid NL, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL,Young Friends of the Earth NL, Waddenvereniging and a large group of co-plaintiffs.
News / 19 March 2019
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Ana di Pangracio, working for FARN (Argentina) tells us about climate threats to large wetlands, while these same wetlands are crucial in mitigating global climate change.
Press release / 12 February 2019
Amsterdam, 12 February 2019 - Fossil fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell is facing legal action from environmental and human rights organisations if it fails to align its growth plans with global climate goals aimed at averting catastrophic global warming.